Ricardo Migueláñez.- Calidad Pascual is wholeheartedly committed to milk, that much is clear. Do you believe that you're going to make milk fashionable again in Spain?
Mar Doñate.- Why not? Milk could definitely go back in style again. We're immersed in a global shift towards natural, simple, healthy products, and milk ticks all of those boxes.
Moreover, we must be aware of the fact that it's an essential part of our diet. Perhaps not everybody knows that more than 75% of Spaniards don't get enough calcium, and that milk and dairy products are still the best dietary sources of these nutrients, due to the ease with which they can be ingested and bioavailability. Although it's the most well known nutrient, it's not all about calcium. Milk is also a source of high-quality proteins and contains vitamin D as well as many other essential nutrients.
And this is regardless of varieties, their properties and the way we consume or make them—whether it’s a dairy by-product or milk itself, we need to consume milk.
At Pascual, we're putting milk back in the spotlight—but not just any milk! Quality, all-natural milk that comes from healthy cows. Although people think of the dairy market as mature, there are an infinite number of possibilities to offer consumers new products. As proof, we see this year's launch of lactose-free milk with extra calcium for people with milk intolerance, and lactose-free milk with cereal and seeds, which enable us to enter a segment where nobody had gone until now, in line with two global trends: the launch of lactose-free products, and cerealization.
R.M. You've launched a major campaign to highlight your commitment to animal wellbeing and your production model. What makes Calidad Pascual different from the competition in this area?
M.D.- For Pascual, our milk's main distinguishing feature has always been its quality, and the fact that it's natural. This is possible because we are extremely careful with every phase of the value chain, starting with how we raise our cows. The better the cow, the better the milk.
What we've done is simply highlight the work we've been doing for years on the farm, certifying animal welfare, which is very important and makes us stand out to our customers.
Today we are the only major producer with all of its milk complying with animal welfare certification. Not all milks are created equal, nor are all certifications. The AENOR Conform seal is the only certification that is currently functional in Spain that can guarantee the requirements established in Welfare Quality®, the most rigorous European standard for farm evaluations.
R.M. You've also launched a new package design with a new top, which I must say, I like a lot. What do you want to convey with this new style?
M.D.- The new carton aims to highlight milk as the main message. We're showing what we really are—milk—and that's why it's the main focus of the brand's visual identity. A new direct, distinct image that is simple and transparent, which aims to stand out on supermarket shelves and in consumers' minds.
The new packaging also tells the story of our roots, our legacy, and how we do our best every step of the way to give people the very best milk.
But it's not all about the design. In our quest to provide the best to our consumers, we changed the top for one that is much easier to open. And we changed the plastic packaging on our multi-packs for cardboard to enhance our sustainability.
R.M.- It's too soon to tell if your commitment to animal welfare and the new format are working, but what are the main objectives?
M.D.- Leche Pascual goal's with this relaunch is to become a leader once again in the dairy market, and grow sustainably and profitably. With Animal Welfare, we've achieved a milestone by establishing a turning point in Spain's agri-food sector. We want to continue to pave the way for innovation and a commitment to quality. Animal Welfare is only the first step, and we have new projects planned in 2019, but I can't tell you what they are.
R.M.- Do you believe that consumers are aware enough to appreciate the values conveyed by Calidad Pascual when buying your products?
M.D.- Consumers are increasingly demanding and they're more prepared—they want more information. They want to know the "what" but also the "how." Today they don't want to know just about a product's qualities, but also the history behind the product they're consuming (and where it came from, the various steps in its production, how the animals it came from were cared for, etc.). It's a major challenge in an increasingly transparent context. And we are thrilled to face these challenges. They make us better every single day.
At Leche Pascual, with our new communication platform, "Give the best," we are adapting to this situation and offering more information to the new consumer profile. We are committed to transparency for an issue that is very important for people at present: animal welfare. If we really want to offer a unique, natural product of the highest quality, we must treat our cows as they deserve to be treated.
In short, we are highlighting this unique characteristic, which is important for consumers. Because not all milks were created equal. There's milk, and then there's milk from animals whose wellbeing is guaranteed—Leche Pascual.